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University of Colorado Denver

Center for Worker Health and Environment

Our Team

Administrative Faculty and Staff


newman.jpgLee S. Newman, M.D., M.A., FCCP, FACOEM


Dr. Newman is the founding Director of the NIOSH-funded Mountain and Plains Education and Research Center (MAP ERC). Dr. Newman is a Professor of Environmental and Occupational Health and a Professor of Epidemiology in the Colorado School of Public Health. He is also Professor of Medicine in the Division of Allergy and Clinical Immunology a​nd the Division of Pulmonary Science and Critical Care Medicine, in the School of Medicine, University of Colorado Denver.

Read full bio here 

tenney.jpgLiliana Tenney Starr, MPH

Deputy Director, Center for Worker Health & Environment

Lili received her Masters of Public Health Degree from the Colorado School of Public Health. Her research interests include workplace wellness programs, community and behavioral health. She co-founded Health Links, a program in the Center for Worker Health and Environment.  Before pursuing her MPH and working at the Mountain and Plains ERC, Lili developed a strong background in marketing, business development and social media with her work in event production, health promotion and wellness.

Phone: 303.724.6440

tenney.jpgJohn Adgate, Ph. D

Associate Director & Chair of the Department of Occupation and Environmental Health

Dr. Adgate's research focuses on improving exposure assessment in epidemiologic studies – studying the factors that affect the health and illness of entire populations – by documenting the magnitude and variability of human exposure to air pollutants, pesticides, metals and allergens. Some of his research projects have included evaluating methods that might help to reduce lead poisoning in the home, outcomes of long-term exposure to indoor and outdoor air pollutants, and a controlled trial to test an allergen reduction intervention in inner city residences..

Phone: 303.724.4692

Carol Brown, Ph.D

Program Evaluator Coordinator

Carol coordinates evaluation and assessment procedures for the School. She received a PhD in Psychology from the University of Southern California (USC) and a BA in Psychology from Oklahoma State University. Prior to joining CSPH, Carol conducted program evaluations for The Graduate School at USC.

Phone: 303.724.4745

haan.jpgMichelle Haan, MPH

Professional Research Assistant

Michelle received her Master of Public Health degree from the Colorado School of Public Health with a focus on Community and Behavioral Health. As a Research Assistant at the Center, Michelle enjoys managing the Health Links program and assisting with the many projects that are run through the Center. Michelle is passionate about connecting with people throughout the community and learning how to help empower them to make choices to live safer and healthier lives.

Phone: 303.724.7814​  

Sara Higgins

Finance Administrator

Sara has been with University of Colorado Denver since 1999 and has done all aspects of budget management for Dr. Newman since the MAP ERC began in 2007.  She has experience with accounting, budget management,  grants, contracts, subcontracts/pilot projects, and general office administration.

Phone: 303.724.7195

Rhianon.jpgRhianon Schuman

Communications Coordinator

Rhianon is a current MPH candidate at the Colorado School of Public Health in the department of Environmental and Occupation Health. She manages all communication activities and website for the Center. Her current interests include worksite wellness and healthy eating and active living.

Phone: 303.724.7816


Natalie Schwatka, PhD.
Research Associate

Natalie received her Ph.D. in Environmental Health from Colorado State University, and her B.A. in Psychology from University of Portland.  Natalie’s research interests include leadership, safety climate/culture, workplace wellness programs, and the development and evaluation of leading indicators of workplace health and safety.  Natalie is passionate about working with community partners on applied research projects that ultimately result in improved academic and practical knowledge.

Phone: 303-724-4607

Brenda.pngBrenda Thompson

Finance Assistant and Administrative Assistant

Brenda is a Colorado native and graduated from CU Boulder. She assists the Finance Administrator and provides administrative support to the Center, coordinating Center events and schedules.

Phone: 303.724.7813

Barbara.jpegBarbara Vance

Health Links Outreach and Communication Coordinator

Barbara Vance has a diverse background in public health from training and research to education and community practice. Her passion for health promotion and health protection is a driving force for bringing wellness to workplaces throughout the state. As the outreach and communications coordinator for Health Links, Barbara focuses on collaborating with community and business partners to design, implement, and evaluate sustainable and effective workplace wellness programs.

Phone: 303.724.7812

rzwitter%20pic%202.JPGRoxana Witter, MD, MSPH

Director OEM Residency Program​ & Associate Professor

Dr. Witter is an Assistant Research Professor in the Department of Occupational and Environmental Health at the Colorado School of Public Health. She is the Program Director for the Occupational Medicine Residency Program and mentors several occupational medicine residents each year. She is co-Director of the MAP ERC Occupational Health Interdisciplinary Symposium and has previously been Director of the Occupational Toxicology MPH course.

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